The WiR: Facebook Retires LiveRail’s Open Exchange Product & Lets 40 Staff Go, YouTube Lanches ‘Bumper Ads’, NBCUniversal Buys Dreamworks

In this week’s Week in Review: LiveRail retires LiveRail Central and lets 40 staff go, Google announces six second ads built for mobile snacking and Facebook makes changes to it’s News Feed algorithm. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Facebook Retires Open Exchange Product, Let’s LiveRail Staff Staff Go

Facebook have confirmed they are to shut down their LiveRail Central (LRC), the company’s open exchange. In an email sent to clients today that has been seen by Video Ad News, Alvin Bowles, Head of Global Publisher Sales & Operations, Facebook, wrote:

Today, we’re announcing that we will end support for LiveRail Central (LRC), our open exchange product. We have spoken openly about the lack of quality inventory in exchange ecosystems, and we find this lack of value inconsistent with our commitment to people, advertisers, and publishers. As such, we will deprecate LRC and all agreements associated with LRC demand on June 30, 2016. This deprecation will enable us to invest even more in our efforts to deliver the best tools for end publishers. Publishers currently using only our Private Exchange product will see no change.


Facebook also shut down the LiveRail ad server in January of this year, and last year the company kicked off many of LiveRail’s ad network clients, many of whom were thought to be engaging in fraud.

This week the company also let go approximately 40 staff, as was first reported by Business Insider, including LiveRail’s former CEO, Mark Trefgerne, who is understood to have been offered a severance package.

Google Launches Six Second Long ‘Bumper Ads’ for YouTube
The new short video format, pitched as ‘little haikus of video ads’, are designed for mobile snacking and can be sold through the AdWords auction on a CPM basis.

DreamWorks Animation Acquired by Comcast’s NBCUniversal
DreamWorks, makers of  Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon are the latest acquisition by Comcast-owned NBCUniversal. The move by NBCUniversal will help them grow their film, television, theme parks and consumer product businesses.

Social Video Aggregator CrowdAlbum Acquired by Spotify
Social video and photo aggregator CrowdAlbum, have been bought by Spotify. The acquisition will allow the music streaming site to provide artists with insight into their fans’ reactions and online behaviour through social media.

Publisher Posts Limited by Facebook in News Feed Algorithm Change
In their latest change to the News Feed algorithm, Facebook have given more prominence to engagement time metrics. They have stated that the “update to ranking will take into account how likely you are to click on an article and then spend time reading it”. Additionally, the platform will reduce how often people see several posts in a row from the same source in a bid to encourage diversity.

CNN Selects ComScore’s  Xmedia Over Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement
CNN have become one of the first media companies to use comScore’s cross-platform measurement solution. The findings from the partnership with Xmedia show CNN’s strong digital presence extends its TV reach by nearly 50 percent and 40 percent of Millennials are reached from its digital platforms alone. This figure increased to more that 60 percent when combined with TV.

UK Ad Spend Highest in Five Years
According to the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report, UK advertising expenditure increased by 7.5 percent to £20.1bn, the highest it has reported since 2010. Internet adspend increased 17.3 percent to £8.6bn, with mobile  growing 61.1 percent to a total of £2.6bn.

Data table uk ad spend

Criteo Teams Up with Integral Ad Science
The new partnership will ensure Criteo’s huge global inventory adheres to strict brand safety requirements. With 10 major languages covered, consumers receiving Criteo client ads are now assured a targeted, non-intrusive and brand-safe experience across all channels and screens.

Viacom and Roku Strike Advertising Deal
A new partnership has been announced that will see Viacom access to Roku’s audience data in order to deliver targeted advertising across the platform.

Location-Based Services Still Key for Mobile Users
Nearly 90 percent of mobile users make use of the location services on their phone, compared to 67 percent who state they use a music streaming service, and 47 percent who use video chat apps according to a report from eMarketer in the US. Smartphone users will increase by 8.7 percent in 2016, and location services usage will grow at the same rate, predicts the study.

eMarketer location services report

Time Warner Invests in Live Streaming App
Kamcord, a live streaming app which lets you broadcast what’s actually on your phone screen, has been awarded $10 million in a new funding round led by Time Warner.

StackAdapt Offers New Cost Per Engagement Model
Eschewing the more traditional impressions and clicks model, StackAdapt have announced a new CPE model to advertisers that’s based on a 15 second engagement metric.

Ooyala Live Launches with Live-Stream Broadcasts for Australia’s NBL & NRL
The National Basketball League and National Rugby League in Australia are the first to use the live streaming platform, which enables live broadcasts and videos streams to Facebook Live.

Binge TV Viewing Slowing According to Forrester Report
Looking at whether or not online video streaming services are affecting B2C Marketer’s ability to reach desired audiences, Forrester Research have found that viewers in the US are binge watching less each month year-on-year. The percentage of Gen-Xers (36-49s) who binge watched at least once in the past month has slowed down to 54 percent in 2015 from 63 percent in 2014.

Volume of RTB Media Auctions Grows 217 Percent Year on Year
In their Programmatic Media Market Pulse, Accordant Media have reported that The U.K. programmatic ad market has reached new highs. RTB media auctions have increased by 217 percent year-on-year and U.K. impression Volume has increased by 14 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
EMEA volume share

Yashi’s “Digital Mirror” Product Unveiled
Digital Mirror, a product by Nexstar Broadcasting’s Yashi, is the first of it’s kind to promise simultaneous delivery of TV and digital pre-roll video ads.

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” Reduces Commercial Load by 30 Percent
In a move to make the show easier to watch live, NBCUniversal have announced that two commercial pods will be reduced starting next season.

First Revenue Decline For Apple in 13 Years
In their second quarter results, Apple reported a 13 percent decline in sales versus the same quarter in 2015. Sources report that sales in struggling Chinese market and that, although more innovations lie ahead, investors should prepare for a further decline

Cheetah Mobile Integrates with Kiip’s Mobile Rewards Platform
Chinese mobile app developer, Cheetah Mobile, has announced a partnership with Kiip to enable localised rewards into it’s suite of available apps through Kiip Moments.

Yahoo First Round Sees Over 10 Initial Bidders
With bids ranging from $4 billion to $8 billion, Bloomberg have reported that Yahoo will be shortlisting as soon as next week.

Facebook User Base Continues to Grow
In the announcement of their Q1 results this week, Facebook reported that their Daily Active users (DAUs) have increased 16 percent year on year. Additionally mobile DAUs have increased 24 percent over the same period.

Expanded B2B Offer Announced by Oracle Marketing Cloud
The new functionality for B2B marketers enable better optimisation of targeting for paid media, more effective targeting of prospects and simplified data management and integration.

London’s Vibrant Media Hits Landmark $1bn
The native ad company, Vibrant Media this week announced it had billed it’s billionth dollar.

OpenX Announces Significant Header Bidding and Mobile Growth
In their latest release, OpenX have reported a very strong growth in header bidding and mobile in Q1 2016, with year-on-year header bidding increases of 300 percent. Over 50 percent of OpenX’s global volume is now mobile.

Brand Networks Launches Advertising Automation on All Social Channels
Optimize Now™ automatically optimises ads to improve campaign performance with fewer manual updates, and is now available on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn as well as Facebook.

The Sun Launches Channel on Snapchat Discover
Promising celebrity pictures, funniest virals and amazing real life stories, The UK tabloid has rolled out content on Snapchat Discover from 6am each morning.

PaperG Unveils New Creative Suite as Brand Changes to “Thunder”
US Creative Management Platform PaperG has re-branded to “Thunder” and in the process have unveiled a new creative toolkit for Facebook ads called PowerPlus for Facebook.

The New York Times Closes International Print HQ in Paris
Two weeks after announcing $50 million investment in a digital roadmap, The New York Times have announced closure of their Paris editing and press operations.

This Week’s New Hires:

Yahoo Announces Board Changes
Tor R. Braham, Eddy W. Hartenstein, Richard S. Hill and Jeffrey C. Smith join the Yahoo board as part of an agreement reached with Starboard Value LP.

Mike Zeman Moves from Netflix to Intuit
Architect of Netflix’s programmatic trading desk, Zeman has joined Intuit to help grow its Mint personal finance brand

Marc Lourdes Joins CNN Digital Asia 
Appointed as Director of CNN Digital Asia, Lourdes previously held the position of Editor in Chief at Yahoo Singapore.

Kevin Wertz Promoted to CEO at Campbell Ewald
Succeeding former CEO, Jim Palmer, Wertz will assume the CEO role immediately.

This Week on VAN:

The Growing Complexity of the Media Landscape will Only Strengthen the Media Agency Model #DataWeek read more on VAN

Panel-Based Currency Data Should be Regarded as ‘Fourth Party Data’ #DataWeek, read more on VAN

Advertisers are Becoming Less Dependent on Facebook and Google for Video says Xaxis’s Moore #DataWeek, read more on VAN

How AdMaster are Measuring TV Show Sponsorships in China #DataWeek, read more on VAN

Emotional Measurement Will be The Next Great Data Revolution #DataWeek, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Love At First Taste, Knorr, MullenLowe

No doubt capitalising on the nation’s obsession with fly-on-the-wall dating shows, this very contemporary take on taste is a compelling watch.

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